Unicef Goodwill Ambassador
966. Muzoon Almellehan
Muzoon Almellehan, who now lives in Newcastle, has been campaigning for children’s education in emergencies since she was forced to flee Syria in 2013 with her family.
Muzoon started her campaign in Jordan, where she was living as a refugee in camps for three years, including 18 months in Za’atari. As part of a UNICEF-supported back-to-school campaign, she first advocated for more girls to go to school in August 2013 and went from tent to tent speaking with parents of children who were at risk of child marriage or early labor. Over the next two and a half years she became synonymous with standing up for the rights of children, particularly girls, to stay in or go back to school. She accompanied Malala on two visits to the camp.
Muzoon is the youngest Unicef Goodwill Ambassador ever appointed and offers a powerful, credible, authentic voice on education in emergencies. She is also a No Lost Generation (NLG) campaign champion for UNICEF Middle East and North Africa.
In the past year, Unicef Goodwill Ambassador Muzoon Almellehan has received the following awards and honours: BBC’s list of 100 influential and inspirational women in 2017, TIME’s 30 Most Influential Teens of 2017, Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 Class of 2017 and a 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Award.
In a personal letter to Muzoon, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your work advocating for the education of the world’s most vulnerable child refugees is truly inspiring. As the youngest ever UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador you are changing lives for the better, preventing child marriages and supporting young people uprooted by conflict to be able to go to school.”
Mike Penrose, Unicef UK Executive Director said:
“Muzoon is a shining example to us all, so it is very fitting that she has been recognised with the Points of Light award by the Prime Minister. This acknowledgment reaffirms our country’s commitment to supporting the education of children who have been affected by conflict around the world.”
Muzoon Almellehan, Unicef Goodwill Ambassador said:
“Thank you so much to the Prime Minister for this award and for recognising the importance of helping children affected by conflict get access to quality education. We must all raise our voices on behalf of these children who have been silenced for too long – and who simply hope to have a safer and better future.”